Worldpride 2014 was hosted by the lively city of Toronto, located in Ontario, Canada. Known as “The City That Works”, Toronto definitely worked for me as I jumped on the chance to pack up my BFF and take ourselves on a little road trip. Rainbow-clad everything, foxy Canadian girls, art exhibits, the most fabulous drag queens, and of course some of my all time favorite musical acts. Yes, I was definitely in.
We live in Michigan, so it was about a 4 hour drive one-way, so we got an early start. We drove into a nearby town, then took a train into the heart of the city. Because I work full time and motherhood consumes the rest of my time, I was only able to attend the last day of Worldpride. But any time is better than no time, right?
Upon arrival, you could just feel the movement in the air. In a sea of intoxicating color were thousands of jubilant, sparkling, beautiful people! It was truly amazing how the whole city supports the event. Stores were decorated with rainbow balloons and painted windows. Building surfaces were covered with stunning murals handcrafted by talented artisans specifically for pride. Every bar, every boutique, law firms, insurance agencies, and even the grocery store – all completely embellished and dedicated to serving the community. A true sense of unity presented itself.
The creativity and hard work applied to these concoctions were done with love, by people who are proud of who they are. I loved it.
Being the music junkie that I am, my favorite part was the closing ceremony. As you already know, I have an absolute insane Tegan and Sara obsession. They were the headlining act. Other favorites of mine include God-Des and She, and Hunter Valentine. I have many musician crushes! All of the acts were incredible and definitely brought energy to the crowd, even when we got caught in a massive downpour. The icing on the cake was the gorgeous rainbow the rain produced!
Overall, Worldpride 2014 was an incredible experience. I will absolutely cherish this forever. The best part of it all was the feeling you get from taking it all in. Of course there were a handful of protestors, but even they couldn’t bring us down. It was interesting to see other countries -countries with a great deal of oppression and hate- step forward and show that their colors don’t run. That they, too, have a right to be proud of who they are.
Next year, New York City is hosting Worldpride. I highly recommend packing up your own BFF and taking that trip.
Skinny, tall, bathed in patchouly, she smiled as I approached. Little did I know she was wearing tiny, booty-bearing Calvin Klein panties under her boyish jeans. She wore them for me. She greeted me with a strong embrace. That dimpled smile gleamed with sexiness. Nervous as shit, I did not let on that I changed my outfit six times before I drove to her apartment.
She picked me up and twirled me around as she carried me into the door. Her apartment was clean and a candle flickered on a large glass coffee table. We got cozy on the couch and she went to turn on some music. Portishead. She seduced me with Portishead. The ambiance was sensational.
The hours flew by and the conversation flowed. My nerves never really calmed down, but I was careful to play it cool. I didn’t want her to know I’ve had a crush on her since high school. As the time went by, we crept closer to one another. I could not fathom that this girl actually might like me.
Then in one smooth, yet swift motion, our lips collided. The heat overtook me now and her mouth was beyond delectable. Evidently this beautiful girl felt it too, because her hands were making their way beneath my shirt. The scent of passion filled the air, and we joined together like one hot lava-filled volcano. I think she tried to trick me by buckling her belt to the side, but I must have showed up her game because I got them off with one hand, while my other hand was removing her bra, unveiling two incredibly perky, small pink breasts. We somehow made our way to the bedroom, where the rest of the clothes hit the floor.
I’ll never forget that she made a point to have the light on. This was a new side of confidence that I can’t remember experiencing before. This also allowed me to experience the sight of the most delicious body I’ve ever laid my eyes on. This girl was simply breathtaking. This is also where I discovered the teeny tiny panties, and the way the bottom of her cheeks hung out just a little. An image I can never forget.
We were wild. We were intense. I was still nervous, and convinced that I was all over the place. She felt fucking amazing, and tasted even better. We moved in a harmonious rhythm, like we had done this before. Like we had invented it. It was fucking-yes- but also so much more. Lovemaking? Maybe. But that would sound too much like a dyke fairytale. It was more like an event. And we bought the only front row tickets. A sold out performance. I swear fireworks went off when she came. And she returned the favor, sending a million of my nerve endings into orbit. Was she real?
The next morning I woke up in her bed. I looked around. She was not in the room. Oh my god. I’m in her bed. The girl I had dreamed about for years. And we just had incredible sex, then held each other all night long. I was tripping. Then came the flood of self doubt. I was instantly convinced this was a one night stand and the girl of my dreams didn’t really like me.
As I was starting to get dressed and prepare to drown in my sorrows somewhere else, she came into the room with a fresh cup of coffee- and placed a sweet, long kiss on my mouth. Again, that smile. Those dimples. She said she had an amazing night, she thanked me for staying over, and she asked when she could see me again. I couldn’t believe it.
Well believe it. That night was the first night I spent with my wife. The girl of my dreams. The girl who made me nervous and rocked my world. I write about this now because last week was the eight year anniversary of that magical night. I remember everything about it. She was adorable and sexy. She is even more adorable and sexy now. Still has the smile and the dimples. I love this woman more and more every day. Happy anniversary, Beautiful.
It was the day I had been waiting for. The day many of us dream of. The day I would proudly walk the streets of our local pride festival, but not alone, not slinging beers with friends, and not even hand in hand with some new cutie. But with my family. My beautiful wife and our sweet baby boy.
Long before we were even pregnant with our son, my wife and I talked about including our potential children in all of the lgbt events and festivities we participate in. How fun to stroll down the street of the pride fest, pushing a stroller, showing the world “I am a lesbian. And I am a parent!” Well, that fantasy came true yesterday afternoon.
A Whole New Kind of Club
What was quite interesting, that I would normally have never noticed, is the slew of other dyke moms out there! No joke, the streets were flooded with them yesterday. And the feeling you get when you exchange nods with one of these other women, sort of like a secret society of lesbo mothers symbolic head gesture, is really fantastic. When you step back and look at the bigger picture, how cool to be in a safe space, out in the open, as gay parents. What’s even better is not that we are gay parents, but we’re parents. Doing things parents do. Asking one another “how many months old is he?” Showing your baby the brightly colored rainbow flags, rubbing on extra sunscreen because the sun’s rays are extra fierce on baby skin.
Why it Meant So Much
This particular pride festival took place in one of the smaller Metro Detroit cities near our home. It is not the big Motor City pride that is in downtown Detroit. The smaller, intimate festival was actually where my wife and I had reunited (after parting ways post-high school) eight years ago. I remember she was looking all hot and tanned, and we were both a bit tipsy. We were at the ripe age of 22, and we quickly fell wildly in love. It’s a story we enjoy telling, and we were both feeling sentimental bringing our sweet little bundle to the place that started it all.
The Great Divide
A slight twist of events occurred when attempting to meet up with our group of friends. Apparently something happens when you become a parent. That is, you’re interests differ in ways unexpected from your peers. While we were enjoying walking around absorbing the scenery, my (child-less) friends had interests in other alcohol-fueled directions. My wife and I found an outdoor table at this cute hipster fro-yo shop, while the gang was trying to make room for our stroller in the pub. We politely declined, and instead, introduced strawberries to our son for the first time. (He loved them by the way!) I suppose in past, had my friends and I spent pride in different arenas, I’d probably be disappointed. But, this time around, I wasn’t the least bit bothered. I respect that they want to do other things from what I hold a priority now. I loved doing the family thing with my favorite people.
Children Are the Future
It is so important for kids to experience pride the way that we do. Of course use your discretion on age appropriate activities, but let them see different kinds of people. Let them see there are other families like theirs- two moms or two dads. Show them different symbols and flags. Children really are our future. These young minds are developing new ideas as we speak. Hate is not something we are born with. Teach them about equality. Let them see love. Feel love. Human beings benefit from diversity. I stand firm that this is something I want my son to know. And by letting children attend pride events, parents are teaching the right message.
This was definitely a unique way to experience the pride festival. I’ve been attending pride since I was 18, and I’m now in my 30’s. This year was different from all the rest. In the past, I was more into partying or shopping, or meeting new people. I feel like this time, we created a new milestone as a family. My heart is filled with warmth and love.
My wife and our close friends and I conducted our own NOH8 photo shoot last weekend. We took a stand for equality by displaying our message in various platforms. It was so much fun, and definitely a unique experience.
For those of you unfamiliar, the NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest. For our shoot, my photographer friend offered up her pad, along with her backdrop and lighting. We all wore white shirts, and practiced our poses.
The great thing about this campaign is that each person being photographed gets to bring his/her personality into the shot. You can use props, hand gestures, or even other people. My wife and I really wanted to capture our love for our son in the shoot. We wanted to represent our family- and other families like ours.
From the NOH8 site:
Five years since its inception, the NOH8 Campaign has grown to nearly 33,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more.
While inspired by the passage of Prop 8, the scope of the NOH8 Campaign has grown to stand against discrimination and bullying of all kinds. The message of ‘No Hate’ can be interpreted and applied broadly, and speaks to each person in their own way.
The NOH8 Campaign has received overwhelming support from around the world, and has appeared in various local and national news programs and publications. The images are widely used on various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the message of equality.
What it meant to me:
This is a direct representation of the current legislation occurring in my home state- Michigan, regarding lifting the ban on same sex marriage, and allowing lesbians and gays to be married. I am very passionate about this case, as it affects my wife, my son, and I. Just keep fighting. Just keep fighting for our rights!
While our photo shoot was something a bunch of us decided to do on our own, the campaign does travel the world, hosting professional open photo shoots. This is something I would like to participate in one day. What is even more fantastic is that you can take your own NOH8 photos and upload them to the website.
This is what it is all about, people. Unity. Equality. Taking a stand. And why not do it creatively?
In today’s world, there are those who oppose my lifestyle, including celebrating Mother’s Day as a two mom family. And those who welcome us, and celebrate these miracles in life.
Surprise surprise. Not all people share our joy in having two mothers in which to celebrate Mother’s Day. The scene took place in Grandville, MI, where an anti-gay protester decided to stand on a busy highway corner with a sign reading, “Thank your mom today for not being gay”. The reactions of the crowd was priceless. A few cars honked in support, many cars stopped to give the woman their piece of mind, and there was even a slew of other corner dwellers, holding signs of their own. What occurred on top of all the lgbt support, was an angry woman, who demonstrated her opinion by throwing her slushie at the protester. Now, I don’t know if the slushie throwing was right, but I can certainly concur with the passion from the thrower. See the newsreel below.
In other news, my lovely wife and I got to celebrate our very first Mother’s Day! We didn’t have to deal with protesters or drama. We just enjoyed spending the day with our sweet little man. The three of us went out to breakfast and all the waitresses just swooned over his cuteness. When one waitress asked who the mother was, we replied, “both of us”, and she just said “I love that”, and smiled. I love being in a place where we can live as a normal family, and be comfortable being us. We then had the rest of the day to hang out together, to enjoy our amazing family. And you know, I absolutely wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
So there you have it. People who cannot accept the love and normalcy of a family like mine. I absolutely can’t wrap my head around it. Why go out of the way to bring fellow human beings down? Let’s work on loving one another and accepting that we are all worthy of the same things that hetero folks are. All of us mothers are one in the same- human- and we have one thing in common- our children. So on that note, I wish ALL mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope it was a joyful one for you.
The latest PSA is rather compelling, and this issue affects women (and men) everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, bi, or questioning. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, pink, or purple. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, fat, skinny, short, or tall. Sexual assault is happening. It is a crime and it is wrong. It robs the lives of it’s victims. No means no. Check out the video to see some of our favorite men setting the record straight. Remember- 1 is 2 many.
I had the privilege of staying home from work today to spend time with my four month old son. And let me tell you, this kid gave me a run for my money! His usually happy, easy-going nature transformed into one crabby little baby. He was so irritable and cranky today that it took all I had to try to soothe him. I learned another lesson in what it means to be a parent. I’m exhausted. And I’m happy. I’m so excited to be there to soothe him when he’s at his worst, to hold him when he’s in need of a nap, to provide smashed green beans and fill his belly. Sure, there will be rough moments, but I love every second. I am mommy.
74-year-old Navy veteran, Madelynn Taylor would like her wife to be buried with her in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, but officials will not allow it. Idaho doesn’t recognize her same sex marriage. She followed standard protocol, taking her discharge papers and marriage certificate to the Veterans Cemetery to apply to be buried there with her wife when she passes away, but was at a loss when they would not process her request.
“I thought they’d say okay because in any federal cemetery it is okay, in any national cemetery,” Taylor said. “I could take the same documents and get buried in Arlington if I needed to, with no problems. But here they said it’s a state veterans cemetery, not a national cemetery. So we have to go by the state laws.”
Click this link to view a video clip on Taylor:
Taylor and her late wife Jean Mixner married at a church retreat in Oregon in 1995, and formally in a California courthouse six years ago.
Taylor, who served six years in the Navy from 1958 to 1964, says that while she could be buried together in another veterans cemetery, she says as a longtime Idaho resident with brothers and sisters here, she doesn’t want to settle. She wants to be in Idaho’s Veterans Cemetery, with her wife by her side.
“I just feel that it’s the right place for me,” she says. “I want Jean with me.”
Source: LGBTQ Nation